I want to wipe that silly grin off your face, Robert Miller sings in the new single “You Can’t Tell The Truth”. The words and the sneaky-like horn section in what he calls a “biting social and political commentary” is just one small aspect of Miller’s debut album, Summer Of Love from Cakewalk Records. Written during this past summer’s months, under the guise of uncertainty, chaos and change, Miller’s optimism and passions strike a unique chord like shards of glass. Often classy and polished, Miller’s songs feature his mid-range vocals and bass guitar virtuosity.
ROBERT MILLER’S PROJECT GRAND SLAM: https://www.projectgrandslam.com/
“You Can’t Tell The Truth” has a very catchy chorus in the lines you can’t tell the truth and it’s sad, you can’t tell the truth, makes me mad, you can’t tell the truth, it’s so bad, you can’t tell the truth. Miller under sings – meaning he sings without a lot of exhilaration. He has energy, but it’s subdued. The electric keys or organ in the song really play a big part in the song’s bed. It’s a groove and the shoulders start swaying pretty quickly when this song’s playing. It has semblances of the musicality of Miller’s main gig, he’s the leader and bassist for the band Project Grand Slam, but it’s his own footprint into a new musical realm.
Summer Of Love has a great variety. The first few songs, “Aches and Pains”, “The Night Was a Mystery” and “Heaven” all seem like they could also be a Project Grand Slam track. I think, though, in “Heaven”, Miller gets his stride and his wings, so to speak, on being out on his own. The music arrangements in all of these are sharp, but could easily be improvised with the jam base attitudes and jazz concoctions. In “Heaven” the piano plays a bigger role and gives it a different tone altogether.
“Bip Bop” (an instrumental), “Bourbon Street” and “Walking In The Corner” all continue down that path of giving the listener a better peak into Miller’s point-of-view. While it’s hard to not ignore the stamp that Project Grand Slam has on these songs, because that band and Miller are so intertwined, it’s evident that Miller’s trajectory away from this band is at a more intimate level. He’s not re-inventing himself in so many ways, he’s changing most of the vocals to his every man voice. He’s approachable and real. He could be singing to you from across the room and there’s a coziness, a comfort that you don’t have in the Project Grand Slam’s discography.
That can’t be understated enough in the song “Now and Always”. What a beautiful, moving song this is. If it were made into a music video, I could see this as being a love letter to New York City, Miller’s home base. There’s a whisper of a crack in his voice, as if he’d been singing into the wee hours of the morning, or perhaps he’s lit his last cigarette and last drop of whiskey for the night. Turning into a warm, romantic ditty, Miller’s accomplishment is that he’s not only won over yet another listener, he’s done it on his own merit.